Soulful Swagger from The She’s

shesRegardless of where you are, Friday’s can be a drag. You’re almost to the weekend, but it’s not quite there; you need something to pick you up? Listen to this single from The She’s that just got tossed out. There’s a little bit of a garage-rock boogie going on, though you can still hear some soulful vocal touches that you’d expect from only the best in the genre. It’s pretty tough not to tap your toes and get down with this little jam. This number appears on the band’s Split 7″ with Dry Spells, which is being released by Empty Cellar Records on November 20th.

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New Rock N’ Roll Frolicking from The Sandwitches

sandyIt seems that the train ride with the Sandwitches is almost over, which is sad, as some are just getting on board with the group’s sound.  Their darkened tones on this new LP have been much discussed, but the music you’ll find on their latest single exemplifies how well the band execute a rolling rock song.  It’s got an understated guitar jangle, yet it employs the girls’ playful vocals,which always raise the listeners spirits. Our Toast, the final album, will be out on June 9th via Empty Cellar Records.

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Fresh Song from The Sandwitches

sandyA lot of people have been talking about this song from the Sandwitches today, and they keep throwing out David Lynch’s name.  I guess I get that, but it seems a pretty basic bitch thing to say…it’s easy to throw out.  For me, I’m focusing on the exploration, sonically speaking, of the band since their inception.  There’s a lot of playful artistry when considering how the group deals with the empty space in this song, and presumably on their newest album, Our Toast.  I’m glad to see the group taking on this haunting sort of beauty, and I’ve got high expectations for when the album’s released on June 9th via Empty Cellar Records.


Download: The Sandwitches – Play It Again Dick [MP3]

Still In Love with Cool Ghouls

coolzI can’t explain to you how much I’m anticipating the newest release from Cool Ghouls.  As the weather finally cools down in Austin (then heats back up), I’m thirsting for the perfect tunes for my backyard party playlist.  You know the sort, where the songs are going to grab the attention of a few of your friends, but the rest will let it fade into the background.  Still, it’ll start a conversation about great records, and I’m thinking that this next opus, A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, will be just that conversation starter.  It’s got a drape of psychedelia atop a Brian Wilson harmony village…sounds perfect.  Look for the release from Empty Cellar on November 11th.

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More New Music from Cool Ghouls

socoolSome bands just get you. Their sound encompasses everything you’ve been enjoying over the last however long, which is where my infatuation with Cool Ghouls begins.  They’ve got this semi-folk feel to their sound, though admittedly, it’s been more folk than semi.  That being said, the newest single from the group has a nice touch to it that seems to amplify the band’s sound; I love the way the vocals hold onto a gang approach. If you’re looking for something that adheres to the current psychedelia cum folk realm, then check out their new album, A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, when it hits on November 11th via Empty Cellar Records.

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Cool Ghouls Ready New Album

coolI think when Cool Ghouls quietly released their self-titled record, it went largely unnoticed, but that was vastly due to oversight on everyone’s part…aside from me, of course.  I love that album, although I’ll admit I’m even more excited to see what the band comes up with for the collection of songs that make up A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, their newest LP.  Our first listen has this slight twang in the guitar, adding a touch of folky swagger, while the rest of the tune is filled with this chilled out harmony.  Fall’s right around the corner, and I bet this fits right into it. Look for it on November 11th via Empty Cellar Records.

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Dylan Shearer – Garagearray

dylanRating: ★★★★½

When I first began listening to Porchpuddles, the last record from Dylan Shearer, I could tell that something special was brewing in his craft.  Now, a few years later, we come to Garagearray, and I don’t even have the words to describe what he’s accomplished.  It’s an album so special at every turn that you’re not likely to hear anything of this sort this year.

“Time to Go” opens Garagearray with a piano ballad with Shearer’s deep vocal tones draped all across it.  What’s interesting to me is that despite the structure of the song appearing quite traditionally, there’s a twist to his approach.  Where others before him would simply press forward, and continue the song as normal, Dylan slows things to a crawl on various occasions, encouraging listeners to hang on every note.  The melody he creates at 2:57 is so special that it’s possibly my favorite moment in music this year. Then he brings in “Meadow Mines” to offer another intimate performance for listeners.  The recording is done in a manner that allows you to hear the buzz of the strings in the mics, while Dylan performs with his forlorn angelic voice.  Ugh. That voice.

While I typically identify with clarity in the vocals, there’s something enchanting about the way Dylan Shearer sings.  Take the track, “Garagearray Lookout,” where his vocals hold the track together.  When he sings, he seems to connect melodies together, rather than worry about proper enunciation.  It brings about an emotion that can’t easily be described, but suffice it to say, you’ll be sucked into every whispy note.  Another such example can be found in “Everyone Accept You” where it sounds as if the vocals were meant merely as an instrument, almost harmonically mumbled in the distance.  It might not be for everyone, but it works for my ears.

I think one of the possible detractors on Garagearray might be that as a listener, you’re asked to completely immerse yourself in listening to the record.  You can’t haphazardly skip through songs; each track has something unique to offer the listener.  You’ll probably waiver back and forth over your favorite, as I have, but you simply don’t want to skip ahead.  If you have the dedication, then you’ll find pop masterpieces in wait during the latter half of the album.  “Before You Know It (Its Over)” is a six minute adventure of rising and falling melodies, carefully designed to follow the careful guitar work and additional musical accents.  Shearer follows it up with another spectacular piano-laced ballad, “Barely by the Waterslide.” There’s a guitar sliding throughout too, running parallel to the pitch Dylan’s created with his voice; I’m sorry, but moments like this just don’t exist often enough. It then comes to a sublime end with “Tough on Grease (Carillon),” which might be the most pop-centric song on the album, if we’re to listen to the suggestions from the guitar.

The current musical climate often curates music that’s disposable.  You listen, you love, you discard.  But, if you’re looking for a record that’s worth sinking your teeth into for the duration of a lifetime, then I couldn’t think of a better piece of work than Garragearray.  The musical stylings are current, yet timeless.  The structure and progression of each song is dynamic, yet far from ordinary. Dylan Shearer, simply put, is at the top of his game, and that only makes you better by listening to it.


The album is available now from Castelface/Empty Cellar Records.

Another New Track from Dylan Shearer

dylan-shearerI’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the Dylan Shearer record for the last few weeks, and it’s one of those records that’s going to be hounded by everyone when it’s released.  Shearer has this soft vocal delivery that begs for the attentive ears of listeners, yet the construction of his songs match that in their ornate quality.  Those of you looking to indulge your quiet listening experience will surely fawn over every second of recorded music within the listen.  Garagearray will be released as a co-release by Empty Cellar and Castleface, two very reputable labels.  Be prepared for the wonderment herein.



Pat Thomas Steps Out On His Own

patindapark.143638Earlier this year I praised the work of Cool Ghouls, who released their self-titled album earlier this year, but I’m here to talk about one of the group’s primary songwriters, Pat Thomas.  For me, it would do enough that his Coasters Riding in the Air EP was recorded by Sonny Smith, but the single below clearly illustrates that he’s more than just the product of a producer’s magic touch.  It’s got this West Coast swagger to it, allowing the breezy quality of that area to sink into this casual number.  The only problem is that he’s only got six songs recorded; if they’re this enjoyable that might not be enough. You can grab the release from Empty Cellar Records on December 3rd.

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More New Tunes from Magic Trick

MagicTrick_smallAs reported last week, there’s a new album from Magic Trick, the side-project (of many) by Tim Cohen of Fresh and Onlys.  Based off this tune, and the one we ran last week, he’s slowing things down, as usual with this project.  The guitar is pretty nice, with this Southern twang/slide working throughout, while the rolling drum emphasizes a journey one must take. Adding a female touch in the vocal section definitely adds an extra layer of majesty to the project. River of Souls will be out on Decemeber 3rd via Empty Cellar Records.


Download: Magic Trick – Crazy Teeth [MP3]

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